George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Learn about how we build community

Learn together. Explore your passions. Develop lifelong relationships.

The Honors College is committed to providing a rich, shared community experience to all students, whether you plan to live on campus, nearby, or further afield. You will make friends who will stay with you through your time at Mason and long after. You will be mentored and supported by professor, advisors, and student leaders. You will join student organizations, meet people from around the world, and pursue opportunities that shape your future.

How we build community during a public health crisis

Especially during a time of special public health precautions, the Honors College is committed to building community among our students. Recent experiences organized by the Honors College:

  • Social Justice Discussion Group. A faculty member facilitated a weekly discussion group focused on social justice issues.
  • Virtual Breakfast with the Deans. We held regular morning events to chat with Dean Burr, Associate Dean Albeck, and/or Assistant Dean Hoefer.
  • Virtual Honors College Open House.  We held an open-invite social reception with core Honors College faculty for all Honors College students.
  • Virtual Research Exhibition. We hosted a week-long showcase of student research projects as part of the University-wide "Virtual Celebration of Student Scholarship. See examples of some of the videos that were in the exhibition.

Meanwhile, our students continued to do amazing things to build community remotely:

  • Virtual Virginia Environmental Justice Summit. Honors Student Emma Gregory and the rest of the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance hosted the Virginia Environmental Justice Summit online.
  • Fun and Games. Some students created an unofficial Honors College Minecraft server.
  • #honorstogether. Several students adopted the #honorstogether tag on Instagram and TikTok to share how they were coping with the lockdown.


Building Community in Fall 2020

Building a strong community is key to the Honors College experience. No matter what happens, the Honors College plans to host events that will enable students, both on- and off- campus, to engage with their Honors peers and faculty and build a sense of community virtually.

As a first year student, you will:

  • Get to know your Peer Mentors. All first-year Honors College students will have an assigned Honors College Peer Mentor. These upper division student leaders spent last semester planning programs that foster community, and they are hard at work now, tweaking those plans and developing new programs that will be suited to our new circumstances.
  • Learn about opportunities through the HNRS 110 Colloquium. Through the Colloquium, you’ll learn about opportunities for undergraduate research, civic and community engagement, and professional development. You’ll interact with esteemed Mason faculty, student leaders, and members of the Northern Virginia business community -- in small groups, designed for conversation.
  • Connect through social and co-curricular programs. You will have opportunities to connect with faculty during events like the Virtual Open Houses, Virtual Breakfast with the Deans, and topically-focused discussion groups we held in Spring 2019.  
  • Come together with your classmates in HNRS 110.  The core of the shared Honors College first-year experience is this course. You will work closely with an outstanding faculty member and 19 classmates to pursue questions that you develop. You’ll learn that research isn’t a solo activity; you’ll support and be supported by your peers throughout the semester in 110, and some of your closest relationships will be born here.
  • Immerse yourself in the Honors College by joining one of our student organizations. Mason has more than 400+ student organizations, many of which are comprised mostly or entirely of Honors College students. Learn more about some of these opportunities:

Virtual Learning Community

Though many students plan on living on campus in Fall 2020, as part of our effort to reduce the congregation of on-campus students and prevent community transmission of coronavirus, we will not be able to host a residential Living Learning Community (LLC). We are excited to announce our Virtual Learning Community as a virtual alternative. 

Students who particpate in the Honors VLC will:

  • Have access to a virtual lounge, virtual study space, and virtual home with programming that will be fun, supportive, and transformational.
  • Participate in additonal social events and programming.
  • Have access to additional academic resources, including tutoring, extra contact with faculty, and connections to campus services.
  • Collaborate with your peers and VLC staff to shape your first-year experience here at Mason.

Applications to participate in our VLC will open Friday, June 19th. Students who had already been accepted into an LLC will be given preference in these applications, but will need to re-apply. The priority deadline to apply is June 28th.  Applicants after that date will be admitted on a rolling basis beginning July 13th.